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Do you (or a loved one) experience a ringing in your ears that no one else can hear? If so, you are not alone.

Tinnitus is an audiological and neurological condition causing a constant ringing, hissing, or roaring sound in one or both ears. The American Tinnitus Association reports as many as 50 million Americans suffer from tinnitus, with 90% of that population having some level of noise-induced hearing loss.

There are two general types of tinnitus; subjective and objective tinnitus. Subjective tinnitus refers to noises that are only perceivable to the specific patient, and usually traceable to auditory and neurological reactions to hearing loss. Objective tinnitus covers noises that are audible to others, not just the patient.  Objective tinnitus is often due to internal functions of body’s  circulatory and/or somatic (musculo-skeletal movement) systems. Objective tinnitus is extremely rare, totaling less than 1% of all tinnitus cases.

Although the exact cause of tinnitus is unknown, hearing care professionals link the condition to many potential causes in the inner ear, outer ear, and from effects of trauma, disorders, and certain medications. Tinnitus can be both an acute (temporary) condition or a chronic (ongoing) health condition.

Tinnitus does not yet have a cure, but there are many management practices to continue enjoying daily activities:

  • Using hearing aids to mask the sounds of tinnitus
  • Tinnitus retraining therapies
  • Being physically and socially active
  • Behavioral, drug, or other therapies

How Hearing Works

To understand tinnitus, it is also important to understand how hearing works. In our SoundOff article How Hearing Works, you can read about the complex process of how a healthy functioning middle and inner ear work to transmit sound to the brain.

If you have any problems with constant ringing or buzzing in your ears, contact SoundLogic to have a hearing exam and take control of your hearing health.